Ousted Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist Feels Rick Rubin Was A Hinderance

Ousted Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer thought the band reuniting with producer Rick Rubin was a mistake. Klinghoffer, who landed a plum gig as Pearl Jam‘s supplemental side player, spoke with VW Music and admitted, “I’m incredibly conflicted about my output with that band because I feel like, in both circumstances, producers got in the way of us truly making great music or a great record. I like almost all of the songs that we wrote together, but seldom did we capture them in the best way. I will say that in the case of (the) I’m With You (album), I feel Rick Rubin was way more a hindrance than a help. He told me once, ‘I just want to help the songs be the best they can be.’ I should’ve said, ‘Well, then get your driver to come and get you.'”

When pressed about the challenges with taking the stage with Pearl Jam night after night, Klinghoffer answered: “I face a constant risk of smiling too much (laughs). I sometimes allow my 12-year-old self to run away with my face. The challenges these days are more just little things like doing my part of a song that doesn’t get played very often. Sometimes, for me, it’s really more about muscle memory, and we’ll do a song once a tour, and I always feel like I can do my bit just a little better. But that’s nothing. Sometimes it feels not so much like a challenge, but an obstacle, how little I can see Matt Cameron when I’m playing a drum part with him, but again. . . minor issues.”

Singer Anthony Kiedis told us when Klinghoffer first joined the Chili Peppers that he was a natural fit for the group: “He was there, we knew him, we liked him, we respected him as a musician, as an artist in general. The cool thing was when we asked him if he wanted to be in our band, he didn’t just say yes. He was like, ‘Wow, that’s a heavy concept. Let me think about it.’ Which really felt good to me, that he wasn’t just jumping on for the sake of jumping on, that he wanted to see if that was the right thing to do.”

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